This week we’ll explore how knowing what we are learning about our new identity helps us in practice.
I started this devotional by saying that knowing who we are in Christ, our true identity is a crucial understanding that we need to have if we are to be Jesus’ witnesses and represent Him well in the world. Today we’ll look at why this really is so crucial by looking at what the result of living without this understanding was like in my own Christian walk.
In my early years as a Christian I would often hear, spoken out by believers, the phrase “I’m just an old sinner saved by grace”. I also heard it regularly as I repeatedly played a song with a melody that I really liked on a CD. What was the songs title? You guessed it, “I’m Just A Sinner Saved By Grace”
However, Romans 10:17 says that “faith comes by hearing the message”. Hearing the message that I was an old sinner saved by grace ultimately, without my realising it, determined how I saw myself and, eventually, how I lived my life – as an old sinner. Just as today’s reading says - as I thought in myself, so was I.
I’m not saying that I lived a life full of sin. I was wholeheartedly trying not to sin, doing good works, trying to be a better Christian, and yet I was constantly defeated and worn out by my own efforts. The most important thing though, is that I would react to situations just as a sinner would. Many of the attributes of my old sinner’s nature would often be on view for all to see. There was little or no evidence of the transforming power of the gospel in my life.
Proverbs 14:12 says: “There is a way that seems right to a man but it leads to death.” Not knowing about my new identity in Christ, my old sinner’s identity seemed right to me but it robbed me of the power to bring life to those who God brought before me. It will do the same to each us if we don’t walk in our new identity of love as sons and daughters, forgiven, redeemed and created anew in Christ.